Twitter has hired Nathan Hubbard, formerly the CEO of Ticketmaster, as its first Head of Commerce.
Hubbard reportedly began his new position yesterday, and will be tasked primarily with helping to grow Twitter’s revenue by making it more friendly to the retail shopping experience.
Hubbard’s hire was announced this morning via a tweet from Twitter’s revenue chief, Adam Bain, who’ll oversee Hubbard’s efforts in commerce. Hubbard also tweeted about his new role with a reference to his time at Ticketmaster, where commerce is all about the live event.
To me, Twitter is a cardiogram of the passion of the live moment. So I’m excited to announce I’ve joined the flock as Head of Commerce!
— Nathan Hubbard (@NathanCHubbard) August 27, 2013
Hubbard tells Bloomberg that Twitter will evolve into a friendlier environment for retailers.
“We’re going to go to people who have stuff to sell and help them use Twitter to sell it more effectively,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard will look to team up with merchants and providers of payment services rather than compete with those companies, and may take a percentage of any transactions on its site, he said.
“One of the hallmarks of Twitter’s entire approach has been partnering,” Hubbard said. “We’re going to take the same approach with owners of physical and digital goods.”
Twitter has already been experimenting with e-commerce, primarily through a partnership with American Express that lets users connect their credit card to their Twitter account and buy select items by tweeting. When that partnership was announced, Twitter VP Joel Lunenfeld said the company is “convinced that commerce is going to be one of the areas (for which) advertisers are going to start using our platform.”
Twitter has spent a lot of time and effort this year promoting its friendliness to brands and advertisers via studies and statistics. The company rolled out “Twitter Cards” earlier this year that add content to a 140-character tweet. One of those cards offers lead-gen capabilities, and it seems evident that future cards will make shopping part of the Twitter experience.
Whether Twitter users want to shop via tweet is something that Twitter and its future retail advertisers and partners will have to figure out.